Tracking consolidation of out-of-autoclave prepreg corners using pressure sensors

Vincent Karel Maes, Ajun Radhakrishnan, Stuart Sykes, Jamie Hartley, James Kratz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A total of eight corner pieces with the four different thickness-to-radius ratio, one set using external and one set using internal tooling, were made to identify how unidirectional carbon-epoxy prepreg layers consolidate during lay-up and oven vacuum bag moulding. Flexible thin-film pressure sensors were introduced to both internal and external corner mould surfaces and pressure measurements were taken during hand lay-up. A second sensor was added to monitor how the pressure gradient changes during oven vacuum bag moulding. Time-lapsed pressure measurements found that the geometry-induced excess pressure on the external corners decreases during moulding, leading to some corner thinning but this effect is small. Meanwhile, internal corner parts saw significant ply-bridging in high thickness-to-radius conditions that could not be resolved during consolidation, resulting in corner thickening and voids. The flexible sensors are a viable option for in-situ pressure monitoring for potential meso-structural defects during composite product development or manufacture.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107172
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Volume163
Early online date25 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through RCUK Catapult Researchers in Residence award: High Value Manufacturing NCC (EP/R513568/1) and Programme Grant: ‘Certification of Design: Reshaping the Testing Pyramid (CerTest, EP/S017038/1). The funding is gratefully acknowledged.

Funding Information:
This research is supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through RCUK Catapult Researchers in Residence award: High Value Manufacturing NCC (EP/R513568/1) and Programme Grant: ‘Certification of Design: Reshaping the Testing Pyramid (CerTest, EP/S017038/1). The funding is gratefully acknowledged. The raw pressure sensor data associated with the study is available from the University of Bristol Data Repository, data.bris, at https://doi.org/10.5523/bris.37dfscajl5zhm2cw58qpovt2ag.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

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